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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we're going to create some type. This is a special kind of type inside of Photoshop called point text. Point text is great for headlines and display type and that type of thing. Anytime you just want a few words of type, point text will work very nicely for you. I'm still working inside of TV movie ad. I've got my Type tool active of course and a few default formatting attributes that I had you establish in previous exercises. Now I'm going to Click right about here at the base of the ginormous Uncle Ted's tie in order to establish this blinking insertion marker. Now, notice a few things, we have the blinking insertion mark, that shows us that we're about to create some text. We have a new text layer here inside the Layers palette, and Photoshop goes ahead and does that automatically for me; right now its just called Layer 1, the layer name will be modified automatically for us as well.
This T thumbnail right there shows us that we're working with an editable text layer; it's actually a vector-based layer that we can scale to any size that we want. I'll explain what I mean by that in the next exercise. Then we have this point right here, this square, which is the anchor point for the text. All of your text is going to be aligned with that point, so notice if I start typing, like so, the text is centered down the point because I had establish this Center Align option up here inside the options bar. Another thing to notice though about point text, if you just sit here and type, your text will never wrap, so it'll just end up giving you a larger and larger layer. So the text can easily exceed the boundaries of the canvas size, if you let it, because you've got to manually add carriage returns or line breaks, if you will, when you're working with point text. So that's why it's great for display text, it's very convenient to create and work with, but you do not get any automatic wraps.
All right. So I don't want all this garbage text here, I'm going to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac in order to select all that type. Another thing you can do by the way, if you just decide everything that you've done so far, you just hate and you don't want to accept a darn thing you've done in this current text creation or editing session here, this little micro session, then you can press the Escape key, and you're just going to totally abandon everything. Notice that gets rid of the layer as well. So I would once again Click on the Uncle of Chief Executive Nephew and we're going to type in chief executive, and now I want nephew to wrap down to the next line, so I press the Enter key here on the PC or the Return key on the Mac and then type nephew, like so. So, we have chief executive nephew, nice! All right. Now I'm going to press Ctrl+ A or Command+A on the Mac in order to select all of that type, because I want to format all the text at once.
Then I'm going to bring up my Character palette. The reason is that I want to take advantage of some options that are not available to me here inside of the Options bar. Those that are missing are available on either the Character or the Paragraph palette. So I'm going to Click on this icon to bring up the Character palette. Another thing you can do is you can take advantage of the keyboard shortcut; Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac will toggle the display of the Character palette. But bear in mind that only works if Type is active, so you have to have either a blinking insertion marker at work or some text highlighted, otherwise what's going to happen is you're going to press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac and you're going to enter the Free Transform Mode. So this is a context sensitive keyboard shortcut, folks.
Now I want to make my text all Caps by invoking this option right here. I could Click on this All Caps option. You might say, why in the world didn't you just create an All Caps in the first place? You've got a Caps Lock, why didn't you use it buddy? The reason is because that limits me. If you create capital letters, you can't make them lower case inside of Photoshop, you've got to keep them capitalized. But if you create lower case letters, you can capitalize them as a style. See, how much flexibility you have. Then later you could change your mind and make them lower case again. All right. So I'm going to either make these letters capital by Clicking on this icon, or I can take advantage of a keyboard shortcut; once again context sensitive, so it only works if your characters are highlighted, and that's Ctrl+Shift+K or Command+Shift+K on the Mac. It's important to bear in mind that is a context sensitive keyboard shortcut. If you do not have text active and you try to make that one work, why then, you will bring up your Color Settings dialog box.
All right. Anyway. I'll press the Escape key by the way to get rid of that menu here on the PC, but the menu item right there, the name, is still active, and typically what you do, if you're an old school PC user, you would just press the Escape key again in order to deactivate the menu. Don't do it, because that will get rid of your text as well. So you have to be careful when you're pressing the Escape key when you're working with type. Sometimes it's a good thing to do; other times it's a bad thing to do. You do have one level of Undo, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, when working with text incidentally as well.
Now, just to make sure that I don't go pressing the Escape key, because I'm really tempted to do it, because that darn word Edit is still highlighted there, here in the PC, just to make sure that I go ahead and keep the stuff I've done so far, I'm going to accept my modifications and accept this new layer by pressing either the Enter key on the keypad; because if you press the Enter key, just replace everything with a carriage return like so, that's horrible, so I'll take advantage of my one Undo, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. I urge you to get into the habit of pressing the Enter key in the keypad, just because it works very, very nicely.
Now, I want you to see what happens over here in the Layers palette. So keep your eye on Layer 1 right there. As soon as I press the Enter key on the keypad, not only have I gone ahead and accepted my type and it is now Escape key proof, it will not disappear when I press the Escape key in the future. I have deactivated my type, so that were I'd have pressed Ctrl+T or Command+T on the, Mac I'd enter the Free Transform Mode; just showing you that, just so you know. I'm going to press the Escape key to get out of it. But also, Photoshop has gone ahead and automatically named my new layer chief executive nephew in lower case letters, because the letters really are lower case. The capitalization is applied as a Character Style right here.
All right. So far so good, my friends. In the next exercise we're going to edit this text and we're going to change the word nephew so it's as wide as chief executive, using a combination of Type Size and Leading. Stay tuned.
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